Running back Marshawn Lynch sat through the performance of the national anthem Saturday night prior to the Oakland Raiders’ preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The former Seattle Seahawks player, who recently came out of retirement, sat on an orange and white cooler while others stood during the performance.
The star running back didn’t play a single down on Saturday and the Raiders lost to the Cardinals 20-10, but Lynch easily generated the most attention to the exhibition game.
After the game ended, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was asked about Lynch’s decision to sit during the anthem.
“I talked to Marshawn to make sure we’re on the same page and he said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years. It’s not a form of anything other than me being myself,'” Del Rio said, according to the Arizona Republic. “I said, ‘Just so you understand how I feel. I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m going to respect you as a man, you do your thing, okay, and we’ll do ours.'”
He added, “So it’s a non-issue for me.”
In the past, Lynch has voiced support for former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who protested the national anthem in 2016.
“Well, I mean, with what’s going on, I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered. So my take on it is, it got to start somewhere, and if that was the starting point, I just hope people open up their eyes to see that it’s really a problem going on, and something needs to be done for it to stop,” Lynch said during an interview with Conan O’Brien.
Lynch continued, “And I mean if you’re really not racist, then you won’t see what he’s doing as a threat to America but just addressing a problem that we have.”
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